Bolton School Senior Girls

Zoe Reaches Climbing Final

Year 8 pupil Zoe Grainger recently took part in the ROCfest, a national climbing competition held at RockOver Climbing in Manchester, which is the north west’s premier world-class bouldering location.

Tom Stewart, the organiser of the ROCfest, said about the event, “The ROCFest is a stand alone event in the UK climbing calendar and, as the world Junior number one Molly Thompson-Smith succinctly put it, the event is electric and only second to an international climbing competition. This illustrates the quality of the event as we attract world champions and the very best in the world.”

Zoe and her younger sister Isabella, who attends the Junior Girls’ School, were therefore rubbing shoulders with some of the best climbers in the world as they entered the Junior climbing competition!

Zoe did particularly well: she was the youngest competitor in the age 13-14 category, but held her own and was one of the eight who won a place in the final! She came sixth overall in her age group, which is a fantastic achievement.

During the final, Zoe’s climb was judged by some of her fellow Bolton School pupils. Four Sixth Form boys volunteered as judges for the ROCfest event, and amongst other responsibilities the boys judged the Junior finals – including Zoe’s climb. Mr Stewart was very impressed with the boys’ efforts, saying, “For two days they never buckled and worked tirelessly judging and assisting judges to judge children, adults and paraclimbers, from beginners to the world’s best. Every time I interrupted their rest time to ask again for them to work delivering another aspect of the event, there was no complaint, just enthusiasm.”

Zoe started climbing at the age of six, encouraged by her dad, but only started taking on competitions two years ago, when she was invited to join the Manchester Academy for Climbing. She now practices twice a week at Manchester Climbing Centre and enjoys taking part in competitions.

Zoe tackling one of the climbing problems at ROCfest

Zoe tackling one of the climbing problems at ROCfest

Zoe Grainger